08-11-2022  11:59 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Lottery Misses Mark on Minorities’ Fair Share

The Oregon Lottery’s most recent advertising slogan is “Together, we do good things”. But when we look at where the profits are coming from and where any potential benefit from lottery profits flow to, is this really true? 

Court Sides With Governor Kate Brown Over Early Prison Releases

Two attorneys took particular issue with Brown’s decision to allow 73 people convicted of murder, assault, rape and manslaughter while they were younger than 18 to apply for early release.

Ballot Measure to Overhaul City Government Promises Minority Representation While Facing Controversy

The Portland Charter Commission aims to bring city in line with how other major U.S. cities do local governance. 

White Woman Calls Police on Black Man Standing at His Home

“If you guys have a lease, I’d just like to see the lease,”

NEWS BRIEFS

Jefferson Alumni Invites Community to Block Party

This inaugural event is open to the public and will have tons of entertainment in tow, including a live DJ and music, a rib contest,...

Oregon Approved to Issue an Additional $46 Million in Pandemic EBT Food Assistance to 80,000 Young Children

The additional food benefits will be issued to families’ existing EBT cards in Fall 2022, with the exact dates yet to be...

Free Vaccination Events Provide Required Back-to-School Immunizations

On or before the first day of instruction, all K-12 students in Washington state must be up to date on vaccinations required for...

Merkley, Colleagues Continue Push for Robust Federal Response to Monkeypox Public Health Emergency

“As the country continues to navigate the [monkeypox public health emergency], the United States public health system remains on the...

Washington Ferries to Get $38 Million to Improve Services

Out of the 35 states and three territories receiving federal money for ferries, Washington will get the biggest allocation ...

Cops: Oregon crime ring moved M in catalytic converters

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Police in suburban Portland, Oregon, said Thursday they arrested a crime ring leader responsible for trafficking more than 44,000 catalytic converters stolen from vehicles on the West Coast since 2021. Detectives said they identified Brennan Doyle, 32, as the...

Seattle hospital to refuse some patients due to capacity

SEATTLE (AP) — Harborview Medical Center in Seattle will temporarily stop accepting less acute patients and will divert them to other health care systems as capacity challenges worsen, according to the hospital’s CEO. “All hospital systems (are) very much over capacity with very...

OPINION

No One Ever Told You About Black August?

Black America lives in a series of deserts. Many of us live in food deserts, financial deserts, employment deserts, and most of us live in information deserts. ...

Betsy Johnson Fails to Condemn Confederate Flags at Her Rally

The majority of Oregonians, including our rural communities, value inclusion and unity, not racism and bigotry. ...

Monkeypox, Covid, and Your Vote

We must start a voter registration drive right here where we live. This effort must become as important to us as putting food on the table and a roof over our heads. ...

Speaking of Reparations

To many Americans, “reparations” is a dirty word when applied to Black folks. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Cuomo: Taxpayers should pay sexual harassment legal bills

NEW YORK (AP) — Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants taxpayers to foot his legal bills as he defends himself against a workplace sexual harassment claim — and he's suing the state's attorney general over it. Cuomo filed the suit against Attorney General Letitia James on...

Judge sends Wisconsin man to institution in hate crime crash

FOND DU LAC, Wis. (AP) — A Wisconsin judge committed a man accused of targeting a motorcyclist in a fatal crash because of the victim's race to life in a mental institution Thursday. Daniel Navarro, a 27-year-old Mexican American from Fond du Lac, was convicted Wednesday of...

ReAwaken Tour host says he feels harassed by NY prosecutor

BATAVIA, N.Y. (AP) — A Christian pastor in western New York said he felt intimidated and harassed after the state's attorney general, a Democrat, sent a letter saying she believed a planned far-right political event at his church this week could lead to racial violence. In the...

ENTERTAINMENT

Novel inspired by Shirley Jackson classic expected in 2023

NEW YORK (AP) — The family of the late Shirley Jackson has authorized a novel inspired by her classic “The Haunting of Hill House.” Elizabeth Hand's "A Haunting on the Hill” is scheduled to come out in fall 2023. It’s the first time Jackson’s estate has approved an...

Metallica, Mariah Carey headline Global Citizen NYC concert

NEW YORK (AP) — Metallica, Mariah Carey and The Jonas Brothers will headline a free concert in New York’s Central Park next month marking the 10th anniversary of the Global Citizen Festival organized by the international nonprofit fighting extreme poverty. The Sept. 24 event will...

Bream selected as Fox Sunday host; Wallace gets CNN show

NEW YORK (AP) — Shannon Bream, a Fox News Channel veteran who is the network's chief legal correspondent, is the new anchor of the “Fox News Sunday” political talk show, filling a role left vacant when Chris Wallace left last December. Meanwhile, CNN said Thursday that Wallace's...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Brazilians rally for democracy, seek to rein in Bolsonaro

SAO PAULO (AP) — Thousands of Brazilians flocked to a law school Thursday in defense of the nation’s...

CDC drops quarantine, distancing recommendations for COVID

NEW YORK (AP) — The nation's top public health agency relaxed its COVID-19 guidelines Thursday, dropping the...

At 75, India’s democracy is under pressure like never before

NEW DELHI (AP) — The Aug. 5 demonstrations by India’s main opposition Congress party against soaring food...

Initial dives in collapsed Mexican mine unsuccessful

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Rescue divers' first attempts to reach 10 miners trapped inside a flooded coal mine since...

African wildlife parks face climate, infrastructure threats

MOMBASA, Kenya (AP) — Africa's national parks, home to thousands of wildlife species such as lions, elephants...

Hostage standoff at Beirut bank ends with gunman's arrest

BEIRUT (AP) — A gunman demanding a Beirut bank let him withdraw his trapped savings to pay his father’s...

Emily Jane Fox CNN Money

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- The cost of employer-sponsored family health insurance premiums jumped again this year, but the rate at which they rose slowed to historic lows, according to a new survey Tuesday.

For insured workers, the cost of buying health insurance for a family of four increased 4% to $15,745 in 2012, according to a survey conducted by Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research & Educational Trust.

Last year, premiums leaped 9% from the year before.

"These are strikingly low numbers to those of us who have been studying health costs for a long time," said Drew Altman, president of the Kaiser Family Foundation. "A 4% increase in health premiums is good news."

Altman said there are several factors that could have led to the slowdown, including the economy's slow recovery. When people have less money to spend and wages are flat -- as they have been in recent years -- they avoid getting medical care. Compounding the issue is the rise of high-deductible plans and other forms of cost sharing, like co-pays, that cause families to pick up a larger percentage of the bill.

"Health care use and the economy have always been closely tied, and my sense is that the recession and slow recovery are responsible for much of the recent health spending and premium trends," Altman said.

While premiums appear to be improving, health care costs still weighed heavily on families. The report showed that premiums for family coverage outpaced both workers' wages and general inflation. In less than a decade, premiums have increased 97%, roughly three times as fast as wages and inflation.

"It still takes a growing bite out of middle-class workers' wages, which have been flat or falling in real terms," Altman said.

This burden was even harder to shoulder for lower-income families. At companies where at least 35% of workers earn $24,000 or less, employees paid an average of $1,000 more each year than workers at companies where at least 35% of employees earn $55,000 or more, the report found.

And it's not just premiums. Lower-wage employees were also more likely to pay high deductibles. The survey found that 44% of workers at companies with many low-wage employees face an annual deductible of $1,000 or more, compared with 29% of those at companies with many high-wage workers.

"This year's survey suggests that working families at the low end of the wage scale face significant out of pocket costs for coverage," said study lead author Gary Claxton in a statement. "Firms with many lower-wage workers ask employees to pay more out of pocket ... even though the coverage itself tends to be less comprehensive."

Altman said he doesn't expect a return to double-digit increases in premiums anytime soon, especially as provisions from the Affordable Care Act kick in.

Even though much of the health reform law won't go into effect until 2014, the report estimated that the number of young adults covered by employer plans increased to 2.9 million this year from 2.3 million in 2011, as a result of the provision that lets young adults stay on their parents' insurance plans until age 26.

The 14th annual Kaiser survey was conducted between January and May 2012, and polled 3,326 small and large employers with three or more workers.

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